Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were planning to.
There are many ways to get the most from the travel credit card. earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for everyday expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance using your points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.